To be or not to be…traditional that is. Gilding herself ponders this every Christmas. There is a sore state of longing when traditions are not followed. Those same traditions that have always brought warmth to your heart; a feeling of being wrapped up in an invisible blanket of balance and good things. But it is also true that some traditions, though they are warm and cozy to you, are just down-right stressful to the others in your life. Truth be told, traditions come with a sense of perfectionism, for if they weren’t bound in perfection would they be a tradition? For a perfectionist, such as Gilding herself is, such stress is a motivator; a sign of the great successor, and for the narcissist in her, any failure at completing a tradition in any less than perfect form is just fine too because she is sure no one else could have accomplished it better for else they would have done it themselves. But that doesn’t eliviate the sense of those around her that traditions mean one huge opportunity to not live up to the tradition of yore and all that it has been in the past. So where does one draw the line on when a tradition is worth keeping and when one is not? Gilding herself came to the decision last Christmas that a tradition should feel good, should come with that feeling of warm blankets and soft hugs. And if the feeling can’t be shared by all then all that is left is for you to adhere to the tradition of feel-goodedness and be forgiving in letting the others off the hook.
But all of that is a whole lot of rambling for a ponderance that in and of itself is worthy of self reflection. The ponderance of this post is, is a tradition still a tradition if its not the same. Gilding thinks so. Traditions are an essence of things, a ritual of acts meant to observe and bring us closer to our generations of past. But none of that says that the generations of today can’t observe it…uniquely. So Gilding proposes this, because frankly they’re too damn cool not to be explored.
Take the Christmas Tree. Though the tradition has its roots in Pagan ritual, simply focusing on the tradition in its Christian roots you’ll find that Martin Luther is credited with being so inspired by the heavens in the night sky one night that he brought in a fir tree, attaching lighted candles to its branches. From its Pagan past, the fir tree symbolized fire, an ancient symbol for the spirit. To further associate its divine design, the tree points upwards, pointing towards the heavens. Evergreens, another commonly used tree, represented the eternal life, its green color being one of the only constant plants to remain alive and vibrant even through the harsh winters.
But who says a tree has to be just a tree. And here’s where that play on tradition comes in. Perhaps this Christmas is the Christmas to be Seussed with a very Whovillian tree. So its strange, and pictured here arching over a fireplace, the tree is designed for doorways and other archways, but its beautiful construction, and with the minds of the creative Gilded Lilies reading this blog, this tree is truly meant for the grand homage to Dr. Seuss that it is worthy of and beyond. And certainly shouldn’t be tucked away as little more than a fancy doorway ornament. Nobody puts baby in a doorway, nobody.
But, Hey, if you have to just to make room for this Upside-Down tree, then baby will understand. Ok, for the religious this tree may just seem wrong, even sacriligious, but according to the Christams Archives, “In the 7th century a monk from Crediton, Devonshire, went to Germany to teach the Word of God. He did many good works there, and spent much time in Thuringia, an area which was to become the cradle of the Christmas Decoration Industry. Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God’s Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.”
Brain having a bit of trouble comprehending the spatial demands of the Upside-Down tree in your home? It stands 7 feet tall and just a little bit wider at the top than a normal tree. Still, for the worry-warts at heart, this upside-down tree is cut in half to hang perfectly in a corner. Now there’s more room for more presents. And please, feel free to compensate for the extra room with presents, with many many more adressed to your dear ole’ Gilding. Just don’t forget to mail them to her afterwards. Seriously, you think she could afford to drive over to see all of you. That’s just silly. And afterall, wouldn’t want to start any new traditions or anything.
Last, but certanily not least, let’s not forget good old Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. This poor stragler is in the hearts of every child who’s ever seen A Charlie Brown Christmas. Truly a loveable, pathetic little thing, this tree is small enough to accompany you even at work and is exactly like the one from the classic cartoon, right down to its single ornament and criss-cross wooden stand.
Link: Christmas Tree Arch | Upside-Down Christmas Tree | Upside-Down Corner Christmas Tree | Charlie Brown Pathetic Christmas Tree
Gilding is dreaming of a home office setup — well, at least one that suits her needs and want and doesn’t break her budget. Is that so much to ask! So how about some inspiration:
Yep, that’s a flat screen monitor in the center vanity mirror. How hot is that!
Could you imagine having something this inspirational and beautiful in your home, secured as any other piece of hardwood flooring, mixed in amongst their plain but shining beauty, but bearing this mark of devotion, setting itself apart from all the rest.
The footprints in this board are from 70 year old Buddhist monk Hua Chi, who has been praying in this same spot at his temple in Tongren, China, for over 2o years. His footprints, which are up to 1.2 inches deep in some areas, are the result of his prayers, performed up to 3,000 times a day. Though, in his older age, he says he has greatly reduced his quantity of prayers to 1,000 times easch day. Still, his ingrained marks of devotion now serve as a source of inspiration to younger monks who continue in his footsteps to make the footprints themselves. [Via Offbeat Earth]
“The Vampire and the Nun,” Oyster, June/July 2009; ph. Baldovino Barani
Gilding the Lily was graciously given the “One Lovely Blog” award by CatMakes. And with this award comes responsibility — the award is, as Cat put it “a fantastic and organic method of recognizing interesting blogs and sharing them with the world.” So where’s the responsibilty in this? Now its Gilding’s turn to bestow this award upon 15 of her own blog choices to share with you all. Do you know how BIG Gilding’s list of favorite blogs is!
So Gilding decided that with her choices she would attach this stipulation. That the blogs had to be as organic as this awards origins — that means no major blogs that have enough foot traffic to have several contributing authors who also happen to be authors to magazines, nor are they to have any major sponsorships. These are the 15 that Gilding has chosen, in no particular order, but all of which should be visited because Gilding says so!
Good God! Why did Gilding give herself that stipulation!?! What the HELL was she thinking!?!
There..::sighs::..all done. Jesus! That was like pulling teeth! So, while Gilding is quite honored that her blog received the “One Lovely Blog” Award, Cat, never fucking do this to Gilding again! ;p
Image via High School Archetypes on foto decadent
These two ads are for MTv’s Staying Alive campaign, promoting global HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention. The visual graphic is a reminder of the entanglement are lives become with intimacy whether we intend for it to or not. Funny note: someone got the naughty itch to incorporate the name “Diddy” in that thatch of curly nameness in the male’s ad. You’ll find it at abour 10 c’clock.
And proof of Gilding’s contribution:
This is cool. And perhaps just the right amount of randmoness that we should inject into the daily humdrum of our frantic lives. Too often are we caught up in all the tings we have to do, including those things we categorize as leisure, that we completely negate the power of the simply random — the doing of something utterly off the course of our regular map simply for the doing and the potential joy that its consequence may bring us…in otherwords, the “just because.”
This is the David Horvitz Project. For all of 2009 he will send out small texts of simple instructional ideas through a mailing list as well as posting screenshots of those instructions on a tumblr page. Aside from the “thinking them up” and sending/posting of the ideas, Horvitz relinquishes all power of the idea to us, the viewer, to do with them all the creative power we wish to do with them — no restrictions.
These were just a few of Gilding’s favorites. She is going to try valiantly to perform some of these, at the very least once a week. Via Halcyon Days.
Dancing on the ceiling by Tara Bradford, on her blog Paris Parfait
When Gilding fingered this entry (remember, Mission Composition) she thought her random thoughts had gotten the best of her. Not that that’s unusual. They ususally do. But what sense can you make out of this jumbled list besides the obvious naughty thoughts that go flitting behind the eyes upon hearing them. Then she thought that perhaps, that was the intent all along, and it probably still is the reason, to be quite frank.
So, Gilding had apparently been looking at a book entitled The Gilded Lily by Harry Street, a fiction erotica published in 2005. Yep, the naughty was definitely the reason for this list. Anyhoo, the jotted note is of sections of this book and what appear to be keywords for it. Prepare for pissed pants or wet panties, whichever floats your boat. For Gilding it was both. Not a comfortable combination, if she were to be honest.
[Section 1] – retakes, janet, lightly
[Section 2] – lily, janet, towel
[Section 3] – chad, cold iron, lily
[Section 4] – streamers, crotch, blushing
[Section 5] – crotch, stallion, penis
[Section 6] – larry, frigid, greer
And that proves it, kiddies. Gilding is not right in the head.
Though upon reading the synopsis: a well-written work that gives credible and quite vivid account of Lily, the girl with Spanish Fly in her veins…Gilding is pretty sure this is what inspired her post, Spanish Fly in the Blood. And Gilding did post the synopsis of the book in her post, The Gilded Lily way back so why this list didn’t make it in that post, who knows. Some devious muse behind her must have foreseen the better ensued hilarity that only time can bring to reading a list like this and stayed Gilding’s hand. Good Muse. Now, if you’d only let Gilding in on these flashes of brilliance sooner, she wouldn’t look like such a dumbass most of the time.
Well this Composition Mission simply noted this artist’s name with the side note “stone birds.” Maybe this is what the note was referring to…maybe not. Who knows. Going back into shit you’ve written in the past can either be illuminating or stupifying. Still, these are kinda neat.
With a wingspan of seventeen inches, Alena Hennessy’s sculptural bird — and there is a line of them in varying colors — can be adjusted to suspend from any ceiling height. They are created from a two piece mold out of hydrostone and then sanded smooth and painted. Best part, for these little buggers are expensive, they ship free in their own white gift box.
Feeling a bit staircasean today…
“The winding staircase is an image that refers to upward movement -of moving from one level to a higher level…… the crucial feature…is an elevating process…is an ascent that raises us above the confining entanglements of immediate earthly existence and its concrete, personal particulars…
…stair symbolism in many myths which of course are symbols of ascending and descending…the symbolism of ascension by means of stairs was known in Greece…Jacob dreams of a ladder whose top reaches heaven, …Mohammed sees a ladder rising from the temple in Jerusalem to heaven, … in Islamic mysticism: to ascend to God, the soul must mount seven successive steps, …[and] In the heaven of Saturn Dante sees a golden ladder rising dizzyingly to the last celestial sphere and trodden by the souls of the blessed.”
From The Seven Liberal Arts by Thomas D. Worrel for the Northern California Research Lodge of the Freemasons.
Above image is from photographer Ian Ference. Featured on his blog, The Kingston Lounge, Ference captures the beauty of abandoned buildings in and around New York. Ference goes by the name Richard Nickel, Jr., an homage to guerilla preservationist Richard Nickel, who documented architect Louis Sullivan’s work in Chicago until he died in 1972 when he was crushed by a falling staircase at the abandoned Chicago Stock Exchange.
Below are more images of abandoned staircases taken by Ference.
Cross-stitching for the g33k age. A series of X’s made over woven cloth to create pictures and words. Sound familiar, g33ks? Three centuries ago young women counted cross-stitch as a means to become proficient with a needle and thread as much as to learn the alphabet and numbers. And though cross-stitch has come a long way, there are rarely patterns that cross this side of modern and graphic and usually stay the course of bible versus and bedtime stories. One could create their own pattern, as many practitioners of embroidery do, but there are those of us that have neither the skill nor tallent to turn their imagination into pixelated directions. And that’s where this handy pattern creator comes in. Simply uploaded your digital image to their site, adjust the pattern to the desired size and number of colors, and voila. Your pattern will be emailed to you and its all free. Simply print and stitch away.
Beware, Gilding is about to go cross-stitch crazy and she has more than enough wall space to do it.
Feeling the spring time inspiration.
From Dutch artist, Ans Bakker: Celestial Nest (Bed), Celestial Nest, and Frosted Lives (Crown). Bakker’s works are a creation of her fascination “lives” — their origins, developments, desires, dreams and truths — and is inspired by the “light” that surrounds them.
Beach chic in Uruguay with this peaceful seaside retreat.
Gilding misses this — the German Easter Egg Tree. Decorating a baren twig of a tree was a tradition Gilding always took pleasure in doing with her Grandmother. While commercialization of the Easter holiday and this tradition have allowed people to purchase fake, twig-like trees, nothing beats the beauty of hanging eggs on a living tree, seeing and feeling the warmth of its life even in its baren state and watching it slowly bloom to life with the beginnings of spring and warmer weather. Mr. Gilding will be loath to have yet another seasonal decoration up (he barely tolerated the Christmas tree), but Gilding thinks she shall perform this tradition this year, having a need to feel close to her Grandmother and childhood memories. Besides, he’ll get over it.
And how could this not inspire visions of spring. Based on a painting by Gary Baseman (Gilding loves this sick, warped little man), the Clown Cone from Fully Visual stands 6″ tall. Made of solid metal, the piece weighs around 1 pound. Limited to a production of 100 pieces; look for the piece to retail around $250. From DKE toys.